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Sound Advice: How to convert home movies from tape to digital format

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

Q. I have quite a number of home movies recorded on VHS and VHS-C camcorder tapes. I would like to transfer them to a USB drive so I can show them on a computer and transfer them to other family members’ computers. Years ago I purchased a device that used a converter box and software, a package that was supposed to work with a PC. It was difficult to use so I gave up on it. Can you recommend an easier way to transfer my home movies to a digital format?

—R.Y., North Versailles, Pennsylvania

A. This is another question that comes in fairly regularly. Transferring your camcorder videos to digital is very easy these days, with a simple, compact and affordable device.

The ClearClick Video2Digital Converter 2.0 sells for under $160 and makes converting your videos a snap. It is easily found online from vendors such as Walmart or Amazon. The device is a bit smaller than one of your VHS tapes and has a color screen and a control panel on the front. There are yellow-white-red RCA video and audio connectors on the top to connect your camcorder or VHS output. Press play on the device playing the tape, press record on the ClearClick and it will record your videos in standard definition to an SD memory card or a USB flash drive. It is easy for anyone to use and a far cry from any of the old software-hardware packages that often ended up discarded by frustrated consumers.

Please note the ClearClick will not record copy-protected VHS movies but will work with content recorded on your home VCR. It is also limited to standard definition and is not compatible with high-definition sources.

Soundcore Space Q45 Noise Cancelling Headphones: I just reviewed some really terrific new headphones that are a great choice for anyone looking for quality sound paired with some of the most effective noise cancellation on the market. The new Soundcore Space Q45 headphones have already become one of my very favorite headphones and they sell for only $149.99.

 

When I first placed the Space Q45 headphones on my head they were powered up and the noise cancellation was turned on. The sudden difference in ambient noise was eerie and a more shocking and memorable difference than with any other noise-canceling headphones I have ever tried before, even very expensive ones. This silence did not have any psychoacoustic side effects that make you suspect something unnatural is going on. It is just dead quiet once you put them on, and the specs tout 98% noise reduction. After trying them for myself, I believe it.

Comfort is exceptional and the headband presses the earcups over your ears firmly but with no discomfort. Sound is pristine in the way I expect from premium Soundcore products, with neutral, realistic sound that does not sound gimmicky or overdone. There is excellent bass definition, strings are silky, vocals are rich and velvety and everything is in perfect balance. The Space Q45’s multiple microphones provide crystal-clear phone calls on both ends and the noise cancellation makes it easy to focus on the conversation. Add in the exceptional battery life, quick charging capability and additional adjustability through the Soundcore app and you have a gold medal performance all the way around.

If you are looking for the same goodness in an earphone check out the Soundcore Space A40 Noise Cancelling Earbuds, selling for $99. I tried them as well and was similarly impressed, though my personal listening habits favor over-the-ear headphones. Check out them both at soundcore.com.

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